the Insiders


Showing posts by Molly Prior- Beauty Financial Editor

IMing With Justin Bieber on a Friday Night

"How do you know it was really him?" I've been asked this question countless times in the last week following my interview with the tween heartthrob Justin Bieber, conducted over Instant Messenger. 

Smashbox Tantalizes Acquisition-Hungry Cos.

Smashbox Cosmetics, the photo-studio born makeup brand, is generating lots of speculation among investment bankers and beauty firms, who have looked at the company. With all the talk about skin care, at first blush a cosmetics brand like Smashbox might not seem like the most desirable acquisition target. But the opportunity to buy an established cosmetics brand sold in all the right retail channels, particularly TV shopping and open-sell, doesn't come around every day.

Recently Quoted: P&G's A.G. Lafley

A.G. Lafley, chairman and chief executive officer of Procter & Gamble Co., on Thursday sent shivers down the spines of every media buyer, ad director and publisher in the world when he told analysts,

"This media environment is a big 'O' opportunity for us, because we're the biggest advertiser in a lot of these countries, and we can just walk in and tear up the contract."

P&G spent $8.7 billion on advertising in fiscal 2008, filling the television airwaves, magazine pages and, increasingly, Web sites, as P&G is among the leaders in online advertising. What was clear from Lafley's statement was that P&G -- where advertising spending in the first nine months of the current fiscal year declined 5.9 percent to $2.2 billion -- plans to flex its muscles more than ever.

>> What do you think?

Continue the discussion by commenting below.

Beauty's Backstage Whirl

A model backstage at Proenza Schouler.
Photo by Kyle Ericksen
Ever wondered what it would be like to step foot backstage at a New York fashion show?

If you're "on the list," a black-clad young woman wearing a designer dress and a headset will dangle a backstage pass in your direction. Mind the wires, stiletto-wearing onlookers, overdone TV personalities and the TV cameras (one false turn, and you'll get clocked in the head). Angling your way into the crowd and toward the lead hairstylist and makeup artist is not for the faint of heart, or the meek. 

CVS Beauty Revolution

A rendering of CVS Pharmacy's upcoming luxury beauty stores.
Change can be difficult, except when it suits a consumer's abiding need for convenience.

CVS Pharmacy -- the 6,800-door, $85 billion drugstore chain that built its business on making things easy for shoppers -- now aims to save consumers a trip to the local department store by putting luxury beauty brands right under their noses.

Lafley and P&G Beat the Odds

A. G. Lafley, P&G chairman and chief executive officer
For all its methodical planning and granular analytics, Procter & Gamble Co. at its core is a brazen trailblazer.

Despite its size, the consumer products giant proved its nimbleness in the fourth quarter by reporting a 33 percent surge in profits.

As other companies were just starting to gauge the scope of rising commodity and energy costs, P&G had already begun taking price increases on key innovations to help offset the pinch. The bold move helped boost quarterly sales by 10.3 percent to $21.27 billion.
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